How is it that some NP programs are so much longer and some are so much shorter?

  1. 0
    For example, I'm interested in the PMHNP degree. How is it that Columbia offers a 7-semester, 60-70 credit program (longer than law school!) while Boston College and Vanderbilt are offering 3-semester, 40-45 credit programs - that result in the same certification and license? I don't understand the variation.

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 1
    Could one be a direct entry program for those students who are not RNs already? 40-45 credits seems more realistic if you are already a BSN.
    elkpark likes this.
  4. 0
    The college in town here is a 4 semester program for pmhnp. Its built for bsn students. All the programs I have looked at (university of nebraska at omaha, vanderbilt, creighton university, and marquette university) do not have any np programs that last over 5 semesters
  5. 0
    I agree that it's likely that you're comparing either a direct-entry program for non-nurses or a DNP program with conventional MSN programs. Do you know for sure that you're not?
  6. 0
    Check it out, guys:

    Columbia University School of Nursing

    From what I gather, this 7-semester program is for those who already have a BSN.

    I got the credit amount wrong, it's 56-61. But it's still 7 semesters (Summer-Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall-Spring-Summer).
  7. 0
    It also depends on what pre-requisites are required. My program was on the shorter end of the spectrum, but required more completed pre-reqs that werew not going to be taught in the program. I also went to an RN-MSN program, so I didn't have to take non-nursing courses that might be required for a BSN.
  8. 0
    Quote from priorities2
    For example, I'm interested in the PMHNP degree. How is it that Columbia offers a 7-semester, 60-70 credit program (longer than law school!) while Boston College and Vanderbilt are offering 3-semester, 40-45 credit programs - that result in the same certification and license? I don't understand the variation.
    There are no set limits as to how many credits schools require for each of their NP programs. There are course requirements that must be met at a minimum per competencies established by accreditation agencies and the national NP faculty organization. At a minimum, courses in Advanced Patho, Pharm, and Physical Assessment must be offered before the start of specialty courses. Clinical specialty courses and hours vary between programs.
  9. 0
    I'm talking about NP programs that require you to be a bachelor's prepared nurse, which have basically the same prereqs. I understand that legally programs must include about 40 credits and certain core courses, I just wonder why there is so much variation in length (3 to 7 semesters) for the exact same degree and license. Is this variation in length common in other fields?
  10. 3
    The answer is because NP programs have no real consistency. NP programs are all over the board - and PMHNP programs are among the most variable. I started at the University of North Dakota - excellent program but really long - roughly 60 units - so I switched to Midwestern State University - much shorter at 45 units - but a terrible program! Disorganized and the level of instruction much lower...so....I went back to UND - and very glad I did. The extra coursework provided solid instruction in psychopharm, psych diagnostic reasoning, twice as much regular pharm and twice as much pathophysiology and coursework in things like epidemiology which greatly raised my understanding and awareness of issues and research. I feel that the UND program really should be a DNP with just a couple of more classes but it is an MSN...
    JesusKeepMe, elkpark, and priorities2 like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from TheOldGuy
    The answer is because NP programs have no real consistency. NP programs are all over the board - and PMHNP programs are among the most variable. I started at the University of North Dakota - excellent program but really long - roughly 60 units - so I switched to Midwestern State University - much shorter at 45 units - but a terrible program! Disorganized and the level of instruction much lower...so....I went back to UND - and very glad I did. The extra coursework provided solid instruction in psychopharm, psych diagnostic reasoning, twice as much regular pharm and twice as much pathophysiology and coursework in things like epidemiology which greatly raised my understanding and awareness of issues and research. I feel that the UND program really should be a DNP with just a couple of more classes but it is an MSN...
    Cool, thanks for this feedback! I am actually considering applying to UND so this is very helpful!


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